Review: Duck! by Kim Dare


Duck! is a BDSM toned paranormal m/m erotic romance by Kim Dare. It is meant as an erotic retelling of the well-known tale of the Ugly Duckling. And it was so good my ass melted to my couch. Twice.

Setting/Story/Characters Impressions:

All right, well, there’s like a procession of girly screams I could unleash upon blogger-sphere about this book, but I’m going to try to keep things very concise.

Raynard is a hawk-shifter.  New in town, he’s just inherited an eccentric relative’s estate and businesses.  And this guy—let me tell you about this guy…I mean, this guy….You know, what—we’ll talk about this sexy fool later because I need a minute. (blush)

Ori is a duckling when we first meet him. A little ugly duckling serving as an unmarked slave/submissive at the Nest. This Nest serves as sort of a headquarters for the Avian shifters in the city. (More on the Nest and Avians below) So anywho….ah yes, the first meet. Right, so this storytelling—more like three–of ravens are heckling our little duckling when Raynard steps in to defend him—laying down the pimp hand like a brotha was born with it.

Raynard continues to be the epitome of what every dominant should be. He’s patient, strong and honorable—though, he does have his own vulnerability issues. Classic businessman/Apollo archetype, with the right kind of paranormal twang. Just enough to give him a nice chocolate edge. And it was really well done. Ori and Raynard compliment one another very well. Ori fills Raynard’s house with love—assuaging his very guarded sense of loneliness. ” Through Raynard’s steady guidance and firm hand, he erases Ori’s pre-conditioned lack of self-worth.

Mostly though, the story is about accepting yourself. It’s about finding and then accepting yourself through the love. Which really, I’m of the mind that falling in love is just discovering new pieces of yourself (and sometimes breaking them) over and over again.

The Steamy Bits

I love these kinds of stories. Especially when BDSM is the erotic tone. Not that I don’t think vanilla sex can be just as visceral—I’m just happen to be a naughty Switch beneath these nerdy glasses. This is especially important because I’m especially sensitive to the way BDSM unfolds in a story. Especially when concerning the intimate ins-and-outs of living the “lifestyle.”

BDSM was handled with such care and respect in the book that I was truly touched by the sexual expression taking place between the male characters.

This is an erotic story so the sex scenes are many, but don’t worry—they are all essential to the plot, which relies heavily on character development. There are some mild bells and whistles like a whipping session done delicious, but nothing that might blow anyone’s eyebrows off with unexpected rage.

Paranormal/Sci-Fi Aspects

To my knowledge, Avians are an original (to Kim Dare) race of bird shifters. They have the ability to switch between the forms at will after a certain age. Age is important because apparently an avian doesn’t really show its true colors (species/animal form) until it shifts for the first time sometime in late adolescence. They live and work mostly in human form though. They have lives and business just like most people.

The Nest acts a type of headquarters for these shifters in a contemporary setting. It is kind of a nebulous being and the author doesn’t really go into a whole lot of detail about the Nest and the Avian’s relations with the world. Like I’m not quite sure if the story was set in a version of “our” world, where the shifters live alongside human beings. Or if everyone and their mom is a shifter and this is more of a “Tweety bird-Does-The-World” type of thang.

Society–there’s is a very strict hierarchy with clear class distinctions. Distinctions mostly marked by species. Each species reflects a different personality type and status level. Hawks are proud noble birds of prey so they rank rather high—think the nobility.

Eagles are up there with monarchy. And little ducklings—clumsy, hardworking, submissive—and other orphan shifters that haven’t shown their colors are relegated to very bottom. It was very interesting and well done. World building and paranormal mythos integration into the story was flawless. They came off as realistic creatures that could very well live amongst us.

I almost wonder what kind of bird the author would choose as my animal totem—it would be interesting to say the least.

Style and Presentation

Kim Dare has a wonderful sleek style. She’s concise, witty—and hardly frilly. The dark supple side of romantic. Her characters wear the rose-hue colors of romance heroes, but love, live and f*ck like men. I appreciate that, especially because she is a woman writing these wonderfully drawn males.

Closing Notes and Recommendation

Well, it is obvious that I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I would recommend it to anyone looking for smexy heroes, kink and the right side of pink fluff to compliment the large chocolate bunny waiting to be lathered across your mouth in shame. And don’t stop there—bring the feathers to momma. (<WTF am I saying sometimes? Oh, and so much for keeping it concise. Crap.)

Note: This is the first book in a series. And you know, I already nabbed the second one. Expect a review soon!

Length: Novel

Genre: BDSM MM/Paranormal E-Rom

Primary Book Format: e-book

Publisher/Imprint: Resplendence Publishing

Blush Quotient: Coy Wink

Smart Girls Rating: 4.5 Star

Buy it Here: Barnes and Noble

Find out more info about the author and series here: Author Website

(Disclaimer: This book was purchased by the reviewer. She has elected to offer an honest review.)

2 thoughts on “Review: Duck! by Kim Dare

  1. I think the writing style is what really gives it the power…Kim Dare clearly knows how to let the world unfold and get lost in it. The whole Avian theme was just really unique and well done. At first, I was hesitant b/c I read m/m but don’t tend to choose lifestyle BDSM stories…but this was handled in a way that I didn’t find difficult to read about.

    • Yes! She handles the subject with sensitivity. And it shows in her writing. I would recommend this book to any vanilla fan (especially those who normally find reading about the lifestyle abrasive) with an open heart because she softens it, but really does do it justice. Just enough sugar. Just enough spice. Pure chocolate. 🙂

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